Scottish Winter Mountain Courses

Winter hillwalking, mountaineering and climbing in Scotland, and in particular on Ben Nevis, is world famous. We offer courses for everyone, whether you are just starting out or have years of experience under your belt.

Scotland is renown for its challenging conditions, which we are grateful for as they are essential to build up the ice and rime which makes winter climbing here so unique. Winter mountaineering, ice climbing and hillwalking activities are invariably affected by the weather and the current snow and ice conditions. To enjoy this challenging environment it is just as important to develop your skills and understand the hazards as it is to experience your dream route or develop your climbing technique.

All of our guides and instructors that work on our Scottish winter courses have excellent local knowledge accumulated over many years of personal winter walking and climbing. They are able to ensure that the most is made of every day in the mountains meaning anyone attending with us will gain useful insights on how to plan your day and get the best out of it, even during the most challenging weather.


Customer Reviews

  • 5 star rating Safely to the top, Ben Nevis Tower Ridge winter climb How can one write a review about any climb in Scotland without mentioning the weather 😉 . With the only sunny day of the week, my guide Ken picked me up from my hotel on time, for a short drive to the start of what would be a 1'100m hike/climb that day.
    Ken has a good eye for details when it comes to the technical side of getting you up...
    read more

    nicolausm532 22 Jan 2020

    5 star rating Best day out despite change of plan (my fault) I booked West Coast Mountain Guides for the 30th December 2019, the plan being to scramble up the Ledge Route and Down the CMD Arete on Ben Nevis. I was met by Dave, my guide at the Glen Nevis Youth Hostel and travelled together to the North Face Carpark, with Dave explaining a little about himself, and what would be happening for the day. I already felt confident about him... read more

    Paul A 04 Jan 2020

    5 star rating Winter Mountaineering Course - December 2019 Fantastic experience. Tough Scottish conditions. Excellent insight into Scottish winter. Ken was very patient and explained skills thoroughly but pushed us on the hills to implement what we learnt.
    Brilliant way to spend a week in winter but ensure you are fit and have warm clothes!

    HaighyT 21 Dec 2019
  • 5 star rating Guide climb up Ben Nevis in Winter What a perfect day out that was. Met up with Will at the hotel carpark, had brief and kit check (and added some important pieces to my incomplete gear) and went on up the ridge. A great varied climb with clambering, some rope stuff, plenty of snow and lots of banter. Very happy to have had such great company in Will, my guide, and always felt super safe.

    arganddiagram 21 Dec 2019

    5 star rating Curved ridge Buchaille Etive Mor After booking a guide very last minute I was a little worried when I noticed the weather was forecast for 70mph winds. I had originally wanted to climb tower ridge but was advised by Ken that the wind was too strong. Ken used his knowledge of the area and suggested curved ridge on Buchaille Etive Mor and what a great shout that was! I was guided by a young lass... read more

    Mickygippa1978 17 Dec 2019

    5 star rating Great challenge Ken guided us up to ben nevis summit via castle ridge and back down ledge route. He challenged us to use ropes and some proper climbing and it was brilliant . Ken made me feel safe and confident to step out of my comfort zone. Ken was very knowledgeable about the mountain and the area in general. The equipment was good and new. Ken was friendly and made us very welcome.

    gilesnvilla 01 Dec 2019
  • 5 star rating Castle Ridge to Ben Nevis returning via Ledge Route This was a 65th birthday present, for which I managed to get a less experienced friend to accompany me. It was very important to get a good guide. In Ken, we definitely picked a winner. Being picked up from our accommodation we were able to discuss possible amendments to our proposed route; Ledge Route & CMD Arête. Ken's awareness of what we could achieve, given our previous experience and accounting... read more

    StIvesGafferman 30 Nov 2019

    5 star rating Smith Had a fantastic day with Ken doing the ledge route of Ben Nevis! He’s got great knowledge of the mountain, it’s routes and surroundings. Can’t wait too get the next one booked. Couldn’t recommend them more.

    Charles L 23 Nov 2019

    5 star rating Aonach Eagach Traverse Had a fantastic day out on the Aonach Eagach ridge traverse with Ken guiding. I booked very last minute but found the company to be extremely accommodating of this. It was my first time doing any real scrambling and I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone else. I will definitely be booking further courses with West Coast Mountain Guides, including planning a Skye Cuillin traverse.
    The quality of guiding...
    read more

    Matt K 04 Nov 2019
  • 5 star rating Sgurr dubh Mor/Sgurr nan Eag An excellent day out in the mountains with West Coast Mountain guides. Having never scrambled or climbed prior to the day our expectations were exceeded. The guiding with Ken was excellent and well tailored to what we wanted to get out of the day. He was knowledgeable and we had full confidence in his ability to look after us on the mountains. A truly unique experience. Many thanks again for... read more

    middleearth123 03 Nov 2019

    5 star rating Skye guide October 2019 My experience with West coast mountain guides was first class. From the outset, Ken was accomodating and was particularly considerate of my objectives for the day. After carefully choosing the best weather day, we set a date and decided to go for it. We managed to achieve everything we set out to do and this was all down to Ken and his expertise. Ken also proved to be very knowledgeable... read more

    Edbrown92 28 Oct 2019

    5 star rating Skye Cuillins June 2019 First class mountain guiding with flexibility for changing dynamics in our mixed group and readiness to seize opportunities for good weather (always scarce on Skye). On our first morning on the Cuillins Ken got us all up the Inaccessible Pinnacle before we had a chance to get nervous about one of UK's premier mountaineering challenges. Ken is highly experienced, with rigorous attention to safety margins while pushing us... read more

    Lontra1 28 Oct 2019